Low Vision Non Optical Devices

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low vision non optical devices

Low vision non optical devices include items that foster independence by increasing illumination, contrast and spatial relationships in an environment. Common examples are bifocals, high-powered reading glasses and stand alone video magnifiers.

Children learning how to use these devices must be shown with patience and practice during their home trial period.


Magnifiers can be an invaluable aid for helping those with low vision perform everyday activities such as reading, cooking and writing. Their ease of use makes them convenient – they can either be handheld or mounted depending on individual patient requirements – while close tasks may benefit. But be careful as magnifiers may cause eye strain if used improperly – therefore patients need encouragement and training as to how best use their magnifier. Magnifiers come in various powers with illuminated or non-illuminated options available – illumination is often preferred as this helps increase contrast.

Handheld magnifiers can be an invaluable resource, from reading books and magazines to helping with activities such as cooking, shopping and price checking at the supermarket. Handheld magnifiers are also great way to reduce time spent doing close up tasks and enable individuals to remain independent in their homes. Catalogues or online retailers sell handheld magnifiers; for optimal results however it is best to purchase from comprehensive low vision rehabilitation clinics where specialists such as an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist are on hand who understand each person’s level of vision loss and what magnification might best suit their needs.

Stand magnifiers are larger than handheld magnifiers and feature a housing or base which keeps their lens at a set distance from whatever object is being viewed, making them easier to hold and adjust for those with hand tremors or poor hand-eye coordination. Some stand magnifiers even come equipped with screen readers which read text on computers aloud!


Children with low vision can often benefit from using various optical and non-optical devices to aid them. Opticians use lenses to magnify objects; hand magnifiers, stand magnifiers and spectacle-mounted telescopes can all magnify objects to improve near and distance vision, while non-optical devices may aid with light amplification, glare reduction and text-to-speech software are among these.

Refracting telescopes feature two lenses that magnify the retinal image, and are frequently employed in visual rehabilitation to increase distance acuity. Telescopic devices may also enhance color perception by increasing light available for cone cells in the eye; although this effect may not always be apparent. Telescopic lenses can even be mounted onto spectacles to allow those with poor distance vision drive safely while still seeing road signs and other items in front of them.

Monocular telescopes such as the VES Falcon autofocus bioptic telescope can easily attach to eyeglass frames for hands-free vision analysis. They offer immediate, clear distance vision with a large field of view; easy fitting and training make this an excellent solution for most practitioners.

Other optical and non-optical low vision devices for distance vision include a typoscope, which frames portions of print while eliminating any surrounding white space glare that might make reading it difficult. A reading stand raises books and magazines so users don’t need to stoop or bend over them while reading, while magnifiers come in various sizes, shapes and strengths to enlarge printed material up to 15 times larger; pocket-sized scopes may enlarge individual words on pages while larger hand held models can help identify people or objects among them all.


Children with low vision can benefit from using electronic devices that magnify objects or print on a screen, like magnifying glasses. These battery-operated magnifying devices come in various magnification ranges and sizes to meet individuals’ individual needs; some require computers with specific software while others use cell phone or tablet cameras with magnification features that magnify objects or read text out loud; there are various apps that offer this capability as well.

Children who are visually impaired should be trained on how to use their devices properly and efficiently, in conjunction with an optometrist or ophthalmologist who specializes in low vision services. A low vision specialist can also assist the child in selecting a device which best meets his or her needs and providing recommendations regarding mounting systems.

Non-optical devices and modifications do not use lenses to magnify images; rather they increase lighting levels or enhance contrast levels and may provide mobility or independence aids.

Adjustable tilt tables can help address posture problems associated with short reading distances. A table lamp equipped with a “gooseneck” head can direct light where necessary and absorbent filters can filter scattered or glare-producing light; those who are particularly susceptible may need caps or hats for protection from such light sources.

Some of these devices may be costly, but they offer superior field of view and comfortable viewing distance for long viewing sessions. Plus, their portability enables them to travel easily while providing access to information anytime they please.

Reading glasses

Low vision patients need assistance reading, threading needles and reading watches. Luckily, non optical devices designed specifically to assist those with low vision can make these tasks easier; such devices increase lighting levels, enhance contrast levels and decrease glare to allow easier viewing of objects and print. Hand-held magnifiers, stand magnifiers and electronic video magnifiers may all assist; other tools include simple telescopic devices, large print reading materials, amplifying aids or assistive computer technology tools that may also come in handy.

Though most non-optical low vision devices use lenses to magnify objects and text, some do not. These items may act as companion devices alongside lens-based low vision devices by increasing ambient lighting levels or filtering blue light from digital devices to reduce glare or reduce glare – these products may be purchased either through low vision specialists or retail sources.

There are various non-optical reading glasses, but it is important to consult an eye care provider in order to find out which pair would best meet individual needs. Some readers feature bifocal areas that serve both near and distance vision, while others might suit those living with presbyopia, or be designed to reduce glare and increase comfort.

Some non-optical devices are relatively affordable; others can be more costly. Therefore, people with low vision should receive training on the proper use and maintenance of these tools to ensure they work as intended. Both optical and non-optical low vision aids can make a tremendous difference to a person’s quality of life by helping them pursue their dreams freely and live independent lives.

Writing aids

Low vision writing aids are available to assist those with low vision in writing legibly. From simple guides to electronic writing aides, these devices can assist in legibly writing checks, shopping lists or notes to loved ones with ease. You can use these writing aides at work or for signing paperwork; stationery stores sell these devices as well as online retailers like Amazon. Find one that meets your needs and be sure to receive training on its use before purchasing one; children tend to embrace low vision devices more readily than adults and tend to utilize them more regularly compared with adults – choose one suitable to you and get training on its use – since children tend to accept low vision devices more readily when writing checks or shopping lists!

Optics and non-optical low vision devices come in two categories; optical and non-optical. Optic low vision devices are custom made by specialists based on an individual’s functional level and optical prescription; these may range from bioptic and telemicroscope devices, to more basic hand magnifiers, stand magnifiers, or closed circuit television loupes.

Non-optical low vision aids are straightforward and economical solutions that can be found at stationers, furniture shops or optical stores. From cut black cardboard into “frames” or “windows” that provide reading slits and writing guides for reading to larger telephone dials with talking appliances (timers/clocks/phone dialers) as well as machines that scan print and read it aloud, non-optical low vision aids are accessible and affordable options to aid visually impaired individuals.

Before beginning their search for non optical low vision devices, patients should first consult with a ophthalmologist specializing in eye care. At their initial assessment appointment, these professionals will evaluate each patient’s visual acuity, visual field width, color vision and contrast sensitivity before suggesting an appropriate device or combination of devices that they may try at home first before making their final choice.

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